Star of the Week: Why Rob McClure is theatre’s most lovable geek

Audiences in St. Louis will be in for a treat this evening when Tony nominee Rob McClure performs as Bert in the celebrated family musical Mary Poppins at The Muny. Not only is Rob perfect for the role, an agonizing truth that made me look into trip fare to see the show (unfortunately it was way too expensive), but the thought of theatergoers who haven’t been exposed to Rob’s immense talent falling in love with his performance thrills me. Easily one of the most loveable and talented guys around, not only in the theatre community but at large, Rob is a true gem. As you read this list of five reasons why I love him, just imagine with me how superbly fantastic his performance of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” will be.

Maggie Lakis and Rob McClure

Maggie Lakis and Rob McClure

His relationship with his wife Maggie

I met Maggie on the red carpet for the Tony Awards. Rob, who I had just greeted with hugs and congrats, introduced her literally seconds before I told her how great it was to see her and how gorgeous she looked. The way his face lit up, the undeniable pride written all over his face, was what made me fall in love with this couple all over again. They first met while working on the touring production of Avenue Q and Rob proposed using Reese’s pieces and an E.T. doll, tribute to Maggie’s favorite film, on stage after 86 of their closest friends and family saw a performance in Philly. After approximately four years of marriage, they still behave and look at each other like a couple of adorable newlyweds. (Do I even need to remind everyone of Rob and Maggie’s beaming smiles when Rob’s name was announced for his category at the Tonys?) They say behind every good man there’s a great woman and that’s certainly the case with the Lakis-McClure family. But, if you have any doubt, just head over to Rob’s Twitter page where you can read that Maggie is, in fact, “the best. ever.”

He is a wonderfully geeky guy

Anyone who owns a talking John Locke doll is a cool person in my book. Not only is he a total geek who admits to loving things like Comic-Con, Battlestar Galactica and Lost, but when Rob and Maggie were finally able to take their honeymoon, they went to Hawaii. But unlike most couples who go for the resorts and beaches, Rob boasted that they took an eight-hour Lost tour which included stops to the major filming locations. And, like any true geek would, he took some of the sand from the beach where they filmed the pilot home with him. But it’s not just his affinity for sci-fi shows that makes Rob a wonderfully geeky guy. He’s also one of the world’s most genuinely enthusiastic and excitable people. He’s always smiling, bouncing around, and having the best time ever. Really, there should be no question why I call this wonderfully adorable man a “human puppy.”

Rob McClure as Charlie Chaplin in "Chaplin."

Rob McClure as Charlie Chaplin in “Chaplin.”

He’s not afraid of a challenge or extremely difficult work

To play the iconic role of Charlie Chaplin, Rob picked up a roster of new talents including playing the violin, roller skating backwards, walking a tightrope and perfecting one of the most iconic walks in history. What many don’t realize is that previous to the run at the Broadway Theatre, Rob had spent years working on the role of Charlie Chaplin. Approximately three years of his life in total went to studying, learning and performing the role that earned him a much-deserved Tony nomination. He claims he’s “not a dancer” but he also picked up an Astaire Award nomination. Rob won a Clive Barnes and Theatre World award for his performance as Chaplin. In addition to a slew of talents from Chaplin, and his obvious gift for singing and acting, Rob is also a puppeteer. And, most recently, he learned to fly in preparation to play Bert in Mary Poppins at The Muny. But perhaps more than his remarkably long list of accomplishments and skills, Rob is always genuinely thrilled to be working. Whatever project he is currently involved with is a gift and whether he’s on Broadway, at The Muny, or heading back to the Paper Mill Playhouse, it’s evident to see that he genuinely embraces every opportunity with gratitude and an incredibly disciplined work ethic.

He is a child at heart

To know Rob McClure is to love him. It’s impossible not to see that smile and feel a part of your heart melt. He’s like a little boy and an excitable puppy, and I say that with all of my love. Rob is one of the most real, down-to-earth and hilarious guys around. He embraces life, sends emails with lots of capitalization to the point that it’s impossible not to read it in his voice, and, as previously mentioned, he is always having the very best time of his life. His warm-up before going on stage as Charlie Chaplin included him running through the entire theatre, touching each and every chair and pumping up his already high energy level. Rob is one of those special people who embraces life and swallows it whole. He seems to have a beyond-his-years understanding and appreciation that every experience is its own opportunity and you only live once. He’s genuinely joyous, seems to almost always be on the verge of laughter, and has an energy that’s contagious.

Rob McClure

Rob McClure

He’s humble and incredibly kind 

New Milford High’s production of Spelling Bee had an added boost of star power this year when Rob, who returns to his New Jersey roots every year to assist in staging the school musical, returned on the heels of being named as a Tony nominee. Even when the hoopla of being recognized with theatre’s most prestigious awards had him busy with press events and parties, Rob took the time to go home and help out with the musical. Just like he did last year and likely, assuming timing works out, he will do again next year. He doesn’t bring the press or an entourage; he just shows up and helps out in whatever capacity he’s needed in. This fall Rob will return to the Paper Mill Playhouse with Honeymoon In Vegas, the theatre that gave him his first award as a senior in high school and set him on the path to being one of the most gifted men on Broadway. Even in the midst of preparing for a flight and a busy schedule, Rob still finds the time to send an email or follow-up. Rob is one of the most open and loving men around, always speaking with grace and gratitude, and is loved by all who have the good fortune of crossing his path.

What’s your favorite reason for loving Rob McClure? Are you seeing him in Mary Poppins or this fall in Honeymoon in Vegas? Let us know your thoughts about this great guy in the comments!

Tags: , ,

About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald

Comments are closed.